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FAISALABAD: Shortage of cotton yarn will reverse the wheel of industrial growth which will also open flood gates of unemployment in the country, said Muhammad Ahmed Chairman Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA), Mian Farrukh Iqbal Senior Vice Chairman Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMA).

Addressing a press conference, he said that the cotton crisis is a bigger threat than corona and if immediate remedial measures were not taken, the export of value added sector will record at least 50 percent decrease just within a couple of weeks. He appreciated the pro-industrial steps taken by the Prime Minister Imran Khan during the pandemic in addition to releasing refund claims of DDT to the exporters.

He said that the export sector was allowed to continue its operation during the lockdown period which helped Pakistan to capture new markets across the globe. He said that the export sector also performed well with high sense responsibility. "The industrialists and their labour strictly followed the SOPs and tried their optimum best to enhance export and pull out Pakistan from the economic crisis.

Commenting on the low cotton yield, he regretted that exporters have been highlighting the issue of shortage of cotton yarn for the last four month but still their issues are laying unresolved unresolved. He said that despite repeated assurances during the last fourth month, SAPM Abdul Razzak Dawood did nothing which is now creating unrest among the business community. He demanded that the Government should immediately withdraw all import duties and allow import of cotton yarn through Wahga border under a presidential ordinance in addition to clamping a ban on export of cotton and cotton yarn.

He lamented that now Razzak has taken a new u-turn, contradicting his earlier stance to allow yarn import through Wahga border and working on a proposal to allow cotton import from Uzbekistan through Afghanistan in the month of May.

He alleged that this four month period has been given to the exploiters to hijack the entire market and sell the cotton at exorbitant rates. He feared it would also provide an opportunity to the domestic dealers to hoard the commodity to create artificial shortages in order to mint money.

Chaudhry Salamat Ali demanded that the government should conduct raids and seal the godowns in order to ensure the availability of cotton yarn in the domestic market. He also demanded the government should evolve a futuristic policy to avoid recurrence of such a situation in future.

Chaudhry Talat Mahood SVP FCCI assured that chamber will fully support the PHMA strike call if given. Arif Hussain Mailk of APBUMA said that the SME sector is worst hit by this crisis and proposed that all concerned trade bodies should forge unity and give a strike call against the shortage of cotton and cotton yarn.

Waheed Khaliq Ramey and Chuadhry Nawaz of the power looms sector said that Pakistan has become a haven for the mafias and the government must protect businessmen from them.

He said that the power looms owners are in touch with each other and would be given a strike call at the appropriate date after consultation with all concerned. He said that PM should seek resignation from Dawood if he fails to handle this critical situation.

Rana Talib Hussain of sizing also condemned the crisis and said that the government should take stakeholders into confidence and ensure availability of raw material so that the current tempo of textile export could be maintained with consistency.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021